Dark Horse Comics Round Up: 10/9/2013

Monte Williams   October 9, 2013   Comments Off on Dark Horse Comics Round Up: 10/9/2013

Hey folks, Vincent here. Monte has another installment of the Dark Horse Comics Round Up for your reading pleasure. This time I reviewed a couple of them too, so those are marked with my byline. Also, this is Monte’s last Comic’s Round Up as he has stepped down. I’d like to thank him and hope he contributes other stuff to the Robot’s Pajamas, because I dig his writings and viewpoint.

Abe Sapien #6 – “The Shape of Things to Come” Part 1 of 2

Abe Sapien Issue 6 Cover

All you really must know about this comic book is that Sebastián Fiumara’s artwork is gorgeous. The first reveal of Abe is particularly effective, although I was surprised to see him represented as such a hulking beast.

The tale, meanwhile, is perhaps not for everyone. Most panels concern Abe’s discussions with a family in the desert; there is essentially no action. Still, the dialogue is penetrating; Abe is not a tortured or reluctant hero in the cliché sense that one confronts too frequently in comic books. Instead, he is something a bit richer and deeper.

Also, where else can you see Abe Sapien eating a quesadilla while wearing a hoodie?

Creepy #14

Creepy Issue 14 Cover

At a time when anthologies have long-since fallen out of fashion in prose and film and television, they seem to be thriving in the comic book industry. Or perhaps comic book publishers are simply nostalgic and stubborn.

Whatever the case, Creepy is a horror anthology in the tradition of Tales from the Crypt and, most obviously, Creepy.  Dark Horse cleverly takes advantage of the anthology format to offer a variety of styles; one story features creepily realistic illustrations of homicidal birds, and the following tale features artwork from Peter Bagge.

I have read comics that made me laugh and exhilarated me and even moved me, but I’ve yet to read a comic that scared me, and the stories in Creepy #14 are simply too short to have sufficient impact on this reader.

Resident Alien: Suicide Blonde #2 of 3

Resident Alien 2 Cover

As a newcomer to this property, I don’t find the combination of a noir detective narrative framework and space alien protagonist particularly compelling, but if that sounds like a winning combination to you, by all means seek this out; the art is fetching, and the montage exploring how the alien learned to read English is just cute and clever enough to convince me that this series is probably worth the investment of one’s time.

The Shaolin Cowboy #1

Shaolin Cowboy Issue 1 Cover

Geof Darrow’s illustrations and insanely hectic and busy and crowded… and with all due respect for fans of minimalist artwork, I find Darrow’s aesthetic to be very compelling.

This is the first story of his I’ve read; I confess I cannot recall how or where I became familiar with his artwork.

What I find most interesting here is that the “Previously…” Summary is two pages of dense, tiny text… and yet most of this issue is “silent.”

Any panel in this comic is worthy of framing, and the teaser for the next issue promises “More zombies! More chainsaws!”

Why aren’t you reading it?

X #6

X Issue 6 Cover

Really? They’re still making “grim n’ gritty” comic books?

If nothing else, this issue’s cover is striking. The interior artwork is decidedly mixed, however; settings are convincing, if not particularly inviting… but the character designs are strangely inconsistent. Some characters boast what one might call a comic book-realism style, while others are misshapen caricatures. I am afraid that the purpose of such a style clash is lost on this cranky old person.

But then, so is the purpose—assuming there is one—of a story about a blood-splattered vigilante.

Halo Initiation #3

Halo Initiation 3 Cover

Review by Vincent

After liking the first Halo comic by Dark Horse Comics, I somehow I missed issue of 2. I’m the worst. Okay issue three of Halo Initiation starts off with the new Spartans already trained. Wow, that didn’t take long! They’re in a ship and it’s being taken over or something.

You know, I’m really not digging the interior art on this. It seems like it would be fine for a more indie comic or a new sci-fi property, but this is Halo. I guess I think of Halo as more of a AAA title that should get more attention with a more realistic or detailed style. Also the colors seem a bit muted.

Overall this is a pretty solid story. The Spartans are currently fighting humans, which is nice for a change, though I could see getting tired of this baddie after awhile. She has more super power type abilities than technological ones, and I’m not sure I completely dig that.

Star Wars #10

Star Wars Issue 10 Cover

Review by Vincent

Brian Wood’s Star Wars comic saga continues! Man, Luke and Wedge are still on the Star Destroyer? I thought they’d have been off that thing by now. If this was the old Marvel Comics they would have already done that, stopped an exploding sun, and had some weird romantic interlude with a frog lady by now.

I feel like I missed another issue. Curse my metal hide! I wasn’t too lost though. Just more of the same I’ve gotten from this series before, which is satisfying, but not mind blowing.

I have to point out again that I’m not really sold on the art. I love the exterior shots of all the ships, but the style of the characters isn’t really for me right now except for a rad Boba Fett and the Imperial offers are excellent. Colors are great.

Don’t be fooled by the cover, Luke and Wedge aren’t running around at all in Stormtrooper costumes. They’re just talking while hiding.

If you like Star Wars, I say stick with this series. If you’re really not the Star Wars type, there’s not a whole lot knew going on that will make you want to jump on board.

Elf Quest Special: The Final Quest (One Shot)

Elf Quest Final Quest cover

Review by Vincent

I’ve never read a single panel of the legendary Elf Quest series. It just never looked like my thing. And yep, after reading about five pages of this I can confirm this. The Elven dudes look ridiculous. With their giant heads, long hair, eight pack abs and open vests, they look like they’re only one panel away from some crazy Deviant Art sex fetish collection.

I have to admit, I didn’t finish reading this. It was like looking at a watered down Lisa Frank notebook. I will say while skipping through to the end there’s a really tragic moment that I just thought was hilarious.

Don’t buy this unless you’re really into lame elves.

Also I hope that this is indeed the final quest.